When I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder, one of the things that I was most afraid of was that treatment would "cure" my creativity. I worried that the things I liked most about myself might be symptoms of my illness. That my quick brain would be sluggish (although it hardly felt quick during the Depressive phases).
Because this is the story that is passed around: that there is a certain madness to creative people. Artists and the like. And that when their madness is treated, they lose their art. They lose their vision. They cannot create like they used to. How long has there been this story? It has been passed from generation to generation. Great artists are mad. They require their madness to be great.
And if this is true for the great artists-- that without illness they will go from being great to merely "pretty good," then what about the rest of us? If we are not great, then are we doomed to go from okay to "ugh?"
Well, I think I go straight to "ugh" during both the top of the roller coaster and the bottom. Manic or Depressed I am equally NOT creative. Not myself.
I am happy to report that I do not feel that treatment is curing me of my creativity. I am fortunate that I do not have severe bipolar disorder and the medications that I am taking have relatively few side effects. (450mg bupropion to stave off Depression, 200mg lamotrigine to act as a mood stabilzer).
I know what it feels like to be on the wrong medications (for me it was venlafaxine and lithium). And I am very thankful that I have a Psych NP to work with me on making sure that I am on the correct doses of the correct medications.
Now that I am weeks away from my last venlafaxine and I've been off the lithium for a while as well-- I'm getting back to feeling normal. And not the boring normal that I am afraid of. Just normal for me.
4yo: Do you like lions or ladybugs?
4yo: but lions eat you!
me: okay. I like ladybugs.
4yo: so, would you like lion meatballs on your spaghetti?
took my meds all the time
acupuncture (shen leng bai zhu shian herbs)
one friend each week to boss me around in my house for decluttering purposes
whole family clean-up once a day
finding a good shape for the weeks of summer
Or something like that
permission to do the things I like to do
so long as the things that need to get done also happen
Quaker, teacher, parent,